Three sessions should be sufficient for Boyz, says Simpson

Deputy Sport Editor

Friday, October 12, 2018

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MIAMI, Florida — Though they opted not to have the customary pre-game camp, Jamaica's Reggae Boyz are not concerned their preparation for the Concacaf Nations League qualifying game against Bonaire will be affected.

Team manager Roy Simpson explained that while the technical team would have wanted more time with the players, there were mitigating factors that rendered a regular camp situation redundant.

Instead of a camp on local soil, the players were due to assemble in Curacao yesterday for their game against Bonaire on Sunday, with players due to arrive from Jamaica, the USA, and the United Kingdom via Miami.

“We gather in Curacao on the 11th where we will have a recovery session, we train on the 12th, the 13th, and we play the game on the 14th, so we are looking to have a minimum of three training sessions,” said Simpson.

“We have to understand that MLS players have been playing since March and they are at the ending of their season, so a number of players are carrying injuries… when it comes to our UK-based players, they have started in August or September, and some of them are having a few niggles here and there and what we are trying to do is to get them into Curacao early,” he added.

Three training sessions, Simpson believes, will be sufficient for players — local and foreign-based — who are active in their respective leagues.

“Although you will always want to have more time with the players, in this case, we believe that three sessions are adequate to produce and do what is expected of us against Bonaire in Curacao,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

In addition, Simpson said most of the players in the current Boyz squad have been together for a spell, which suggests that team chemistry and camaraderie have already been cemented.

“Remember these are players who have been playing together for a while, and I think coach (Theodore) Whitmore has established a core, so the focus will be to approach the sessions from a tactical standpoint to afford the players the chance for a good execution.

“In international football, what you really do is work on tactics and execution, and unless the coaches are implementing something new, the players are working in and understanding a particular system, so these training sessions leading into a game are about tactics,” said the veteran Boyz manager.

“We must remember that this unit has been together, separate and apart from a few players, from Caribbean Cup, Gold Cup, international friendlies, and now the Nations League,” added Simpson.

Meanwhile, Simpson shared that all was in place for the team's arrival in Curacao yesterday afternoon.

“Everything is in place… in fact, we went down to Curacao to make sure we select the hotel best suited for our operation as we try to create the best working environment for our players and staff.

“At this stage, I don't foresee any problems regarding accommodation, travelling — both air and ground — and meals… I have to say we are all set from the standpoints of those foundations,” he noted.

Squad — Andre Blake, Amal Knight, Jeadine White, Michael Hector, Darren Mattocks, Cory Burke, Je-Vaughn Watson, Peter-Lee Vassell, Owayne Gordon, Damion Lowe, Ricardo Thomas, Alex Marshall, Ricardo Morris, Javon East, Fabian Reid, Jamiel Hardware, Dane Kelly, Devon Williams, Fabion McCarthy, Shaun Francis.

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